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Ensuring Structural Integrity Today

and for Tomorrow

Every building must be structurally stable, from residential homes and apartments to businesses and office buildings, and beyond. Some buildings also may need a little more room and a facelift from time to time, so constructing an addition is a helpful project.

A five-story, 75,000 sq. ft. office building in Virginia Beach, VA, was slated to undergo a complete renovation with projects including a new central HVAC mechanical plant, lobby and bathroom updates, a new window system, a total reskin of the exterior, as well as other site improvements.

A local full-service real estate development, construction, and asset management company was heading up this project, and supervisors recognized the need for additional assistance from other entities. They turned to Virginia Beach’s trusted foundation repair company, JES, and one of the company’s certified field inspectors and a sales manager evaluated the site. They knew that new construction helical piles would be a solid option to add strength and durability to the project.

Many foundation repair projects typically involve retrofitting a structure with a solution like helical piles to stabilize and potentially lift settling structures. But new construction helical piles – generally used for commercial properties – also can be installed in the ground prior to the construction of a structure’s foundation to give it a solid base and ensure its stability, as well as protect it from potential foundation settlement. Settlement is what happens when soil underneath a structure is unstable due to drying and shrinking soil, wetting and softening of the soil, or poor soil compaction

Installation Project Overview

Project supervisors with the real estate development and construction company agreed to proceed with recommended installations with JES. This included 20 new construction helical piles around the building where new foundation footings would be poured for additions.

It took a three-man crew from the Virginia Beach branch of JES – including the sales manager and two project foremen – four days to complete the project.

Commercial projects like this often have strict deadlines. One challenge with the job was having to excavate and remove more concrete on the property than anticipated. But the crew was able to bring in an excavator and cut up the concrete sidewalk and parking lot areas to be able to properly install the piles. They also ran into an existing 2’ x 2’ solid, reinforced concrete footer for what appeared to be a former retaining wall.

Once the crew was able to proceed, they were successful in driving the 20 new construction helical piles 17’-20’ into the ground. The lead section of each pile had 8”-10”-12” helices, and the piles and brackets were hot-dip galvanized in accordance with ASTM A153.  The minimum (allowable) capacity of the galvanized new construction helical piles was 10 tons (20 kips). After the piles were installed to design parameters, a minimum 7” x 7” x ½” new construction cap was installed on each pile.

The renovation project can now proceed, as the new building structures will have a solid foundation to support them because of the installed helical piles.

JES Foundation Repair Installs (20) New Construction Helical Piles Prior to Office Building Additions and Renovations in Virginia Beach, VA

by Holly Richards-Purpura

JES Foundation Repair

1741 Corporate Landing Pkwy

Virginia Beach, VA  23454